Are you at fault if you break check someone?

Who’s at Fault for a Quick Brake That Causes an Accident on an Indiana Highway?

If you have spent time behind the wheel on an interstate or highway, chances are you have experienced brake checking either firsthand or observed it happening to another driver. When rear-end collisions happen, blame is usually placed on the driver in tow who collided with the car in front of them. However, what if someone quickly engaged their brakes and caused the driver behind them to rear-end their vehicle? How is fault determined in these kinds of accidents? 

It’s of critical importance to work with an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer if you have been involved in an accident caused by aggressive brake checking. The car accident attorneys at Poynter & Bucheri have years of experience fighting for our clients’ rights to fair compensation after a car accident. In this blog, we discuss how fault is determined in an accident caused by brake checking in Indiana.

Common Causes of Brake Checking

Brake checking occurs when a motorist intentionally engages their brakes to intimidate, startle, or irritate the driver behind them. The motorist behind the brake-checking vehicle generally has to slam on their brakes or swerve into another lane to avoid a collision with the aggressive driver. 

Unfortunately, many times the rear driver does not have enough time to react to the brake check and collides with the vehicle in front of them. Arguments proceed to ensue over who is at fault for the accident, with the brake-checking driver claiming they were rear-ended, and the victim claiming the other motorist intentionally caused the collision by quick brake checking. Some of the most common reasons people brake check other drivers include:

  • Road rage – When experiencing road rage, aggressive drivers may decide to brake check the vehicle behind them to show displeasure at another act or stop them from tailgating. Some drivers may even recklessly race on highways or interstates and brake check an opponent after they feel slighted.
  • RecklessnessReckless drivers may sometimes brake check vehicles driven by friends or family members in the name of “harmless fun”. This maneuver is, unfortunately, never harmless and always poses a serious risk to all drivers on the road.
  • Insurance fraud – In some instances, drivers may brake check another driver to intentionally cause a collision in the hopes of blaming the rear driver and collecting compensation via a fraudulent insurance claim. 

Who’s at Fault?

Many people assume fault will be placed on the rear driver who collided with the vehicle in front of them, but that is not always the case. Either driver can be assigned fault, and in some cases, a third party may even share fault. 

If a driver intentionally swerved in front of and brake checked you, they would likely be found at least partially at fault. However, you might bear some responsibility for failing to maintain a safe distance behind someone or stop your vehicle in time. 

A third party may share responsibility if, for example, the brakes in your vehicle did not work properly because of a manufacturing defect. In this case, the negligent manufacturer of the brakes may bear responsibility for the accident.

The important thing is that with strong enough evidence and an experienced Indianapolis car accident attorney on your side, you may be able to prove that you had no way to avoid the collision. 

Contact an Indiana Car Accident Lawyer Today

You need an aggressive car accident lawyer to fight for your rights. Let Poynter & Bucheri Accident Recovery Attorneys at Law protect you and your family from aggressive drivers trying to commit insurance fraud.

Call our law firm at 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to request your free consultation with an Indianapolis car accident attorney. Your free case review includes an explanation of your legal rights, a discussion of your options, and our legal opinion of your claim based on our years of experience handling car accident claims in Indianapolis.